WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressâ top Democratic leaders abruptly pulled out of a planned meeting Tuesday with President Donald Trump after he attacked them on Twitter, casting doubt on the prospects for a quick agreement to avert a government shutdown at the end of next week.
Trump tweeted early Tuesday that âI donât see a deal!â with Senate Minority leader Charles Schumer and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California and accused them of being soft on crime, taxes and illegal immigration.
Schumer and Pelosi shot back by canceling the afternoon White House meeting and asking instead for immediate talks with top Republican leaders in Congress.
âGiven that the president doesnât see a deal between Democrats and the White House, we believe the best path forward is to continue negotiating with our Republican counterparts in Congress instead,â Schumer, D-N.Y., and Pelosi said in a statement. âRather than going to the White House for a show meeting that wonât result in an agreement, weâve asked Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan to meet this afternoon.â
Congress faces a Dec. 8 deadline to pass stopgap legislation to keep the government open and a slew of other unfinished legislation.
It was hoped the White House meeting might lay a foundation to keep the government running and set a path for a year-end spending package to give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies relief from a budget freeze. But in an early morning Twitter attack, Trump upended the negotiations, appearing to signal that heâll adopt a hard line.
âMeeting with âChuck and Nancyâ today about keeping government open and working. Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I donât see a deal!â Trump tweeted.